Our calculator lets you determine the average
daily number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. To lose weight,
the best strategy is to consume 300 to 500 fewer calories than you need and to
exercise a minimum of 45 to 60 minutes four times a week.
You can also use your daily caloric need to
determine how many servings of certain food groups you should eat. For example,
as daily caloric intake increases from a spartan 1,600 to a robust 2,800, the
number of servings per day should rise from 6 to 11 for grains, 3 to 5 for vegetables,
2 to 4 for fruits, and 2 to 3 for protein foods, including lean meat, poultry,
fish, eggs, nuts, and beans. (The number of dairy servings depends more on age:
Children ages 9 to 18 and adults over 50 should generally aim for 3 servings;
everyone else should aim for 2.)
Further, you can use your caloric intake
to determine the government dietary guidelines' newly recommended maximum number of calories that can come from
fat, as well as the new minimum that can come from carbohydrates. To do that, multiply your total calories
by 0.35 for fat, and 0.45 for carbs.